The 4 Best Workbench Tops – Top Surface Ideas 2020

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A solid workbench top is perhaps the most important tool for any woodworking shop, especially if you’re assembling your own table. A handcrafted or prefabricated workbench surface can save you tons of time and money, particularly if it is made from quality and durable materials.

When considering a new workbench top, consider your work needs. Do you need a lightweight tabletop for portability? Will your work involve heavy tools? Will your table need to withstand hammering, sawing, and chiseling without risk? Or do you just need a table surface that can handle light sanding, prodding, and scraping? With these ideas in mind . . .

Here are our recommendations for the 4 best workbench tops on the market:

Workbench Top Idea 1: Gladiator Bamboo Top

The Gladiator is made from solid, high-quality bamboo and can meet any need for smaller projects. Though originally designed to fit the dimensions of the Gladiator Geardrawer, this workbench top is a standalone part and may instead be used to fit any workbench of your custom design. This workbench top is approximately 23.6 by 26.4 inches, and it is an inch thick. The dimensions are more than enough to handle most lightweight projects, and it is durable enough to withstanding light mallet pounding and chiseling.

The rich, bright tones of the bamboo will fit in any shop. The wood itself is cured and treated against common chemicals and water, making it ideal for indoor or outdoor use. Because it is small and lightweight, it is an ideal top for portable benches or mobile workstations. You could just as easily set this on a couple of sawhorses as affix it to a set of legs or shelving.

Workbench Top Idea 2: The Quick Bench Raw Wood Top

The Quick Bench is one of the best workbench tops for the money. Why? For several reasons. The bench is approximately 48” by 20”, making it one of the biggest hardwood workbench tops for its price. For no additional cost, you can ask for UV treatment, or if you prefer a rough top or doing your own staining, you can get unfinished.

The tabletop is also more than an inch thick, and made from chopping board style hardwood, giving it durability and heft when you need it. It weighs only 34.5 pounds, but when properly suspended or placed, can hold up to 500 pounds—more than enough load capacity to handle larger projects and tools.

The Quick Bench also comes with a set of hinged heavy-duty steel brackets. If you want minimum assembly time for you table, or if do not have much space in your workshop, then this table is perfect for you. By properly affixing the brackets to the wall and attaching the Quick Bench, you create a bench that easily folds up against the wall and out of the way. Of course, you may also choose to place it on your own custom legs or supports.

Workbench Top Idea 3: Grizzly G9912 Solid Maple Workbench Top

Grizzly is an established producer of quality, durable hardwood products. The Solid Maple Workbench top is made from pure, quality-tested sugar maple. Every inch of the table is laminated, coated, and sealed, making it durable and easy to maintain.

This heavy-duty workbench top is more than half an inch thicker than the Quick Bench, at 1.8 inches. Though slightly shorter than the Quick Bench, it provides a more balanced workstation, at 36 inches by 24 inches—still more than enough for most jobs. It’s construction and laminate also make it perfect as a kitchen countertop.

Weighing approximately 52 pounds, this is the heaviest tabletop so far (see full specs), making it a great option for heavier jobs. With its material, build, and quality, this tabletop could easily handle rougher jobs. The durability of the sugar maple can easily withstand your everyday pounding, prodding, and hammering. Grizzly also offers a set of optional heavy-duty adjustable fox legs, making it an excellent and customizable option for any workshop.

Workbench Top Idea 4:  Laminated Maple Bench Top

The Laminated Maple Bench Top is by far the highest quality and most versatile bench on this list. At 24 by 60 inches, this bench has almost twice the depth of the Grizzly, and it’s about as thick. This is a perfect bench for woodworking, UV treated, laminated, and designed to withstand pressure and abuse. Its dimensions and high-quality craftsmanship means it can work as a kitchen countertop or coffee table just as easily as a heavy-duty workbench.

Every inch of this table is crafted to perfection (see full specs). At 70 pounds, this is tabletop is extremely sturdy, and is great for jobs involving heavy use and materials. If mounted properly on the right supports, this table will remain stationary through the roughest and most demanding jobs. This is likely the best workbench top for professional workers and interior designers, possessing grace, style, and utility.

Workbench Top Ideas: What to Look For

When talking about workbench tops, we mostly refer to woodworking benches. While it is common to purchase complete pre-assembled workbenches with all the vice-clamps, dog holes, drawers and shelving, many craftsmen prefer to customize and design their own bench tops. The right workbench tops will always have a clean, unmarred surface without scrapes, scratches, or marks.

The first step to determining what to look for in a workbench is assessing your needs. If woodworking is a lifelong committed hobby or career, and you have a dedicated working space, then the bigger the better. The right workbench tops will always have plenty of surface area. Secondly, you want a table that will interact nicely with whatever you’re working on. This means the material must be soft yet durable, able to withstand pressure and force without damaging your project.

For this, hardwood is the best medium for workbench tops. It’s easier to choose a table that’s been pretreated and laminated. This removes an extra step for you, and it also guarantees each hardwood panel is properly affixed to the next. Hardwood tables are also the most stylish and versatile, capable of refinishing with a variety of custom stains and treatments.

Lastly, hardwood is probably the best workbench top since they’re the easiest to customize, which is the most important feature for most woodworkers. You can easily trim the length, add accessories or holes, and mount to any legs or platform you use for your work. Good luck!

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